8/1/2017 Fox Waterway Update
On behalf of the Fox Waterway Agency I’d like to extend a thank you to those in, around and outside of our waterway community that have battled hard to fight the effects of July’s flood events. We also thank very much all those still working hard and involved in the cleanup efforts in and around our 7100+ acre waterway. We understand the frustrations that an event like this has around our waterway community and we continue the battle to clean our waterways and remove countless debris in and around it. An event of this magnitude may happen over a period of hours but the damages and cleanup efforts may be extensive and take months or even years to recover from. This is especially the case if damages pertain to the rebuilding or reinforcing of an Island that has been compromised or partially washed away or a main navigational channel that has been overloaded with flood sediments. Our Agency will work hard and continue the important work of caring for this precious waterway, our Islands, your properties and the environment around them to protect this resource for current and future generations.
Thankfully, our waterway has reached water levels that are in the range of opening it back up. The decision to open or shut down the system rests with the IDNR. The IDNR also stipulates who is allowed to operate their boats when the system is closed. Since last week our waterway field staff of 10 and full fleet of equipment possible has been on the waterway operating at no-wake speeds to make your waterway as safe as possible as soon as possible. Currently we are working to find and replace 100’s of buoys that have been washed away, lost or displaced throughout our system. These are just a few things that have to be done to make our system safe for our users and everyone. Not to mention, the importance in caring for people who’ve had their property underwater for weeks now whose properties are just beginning to feel air, wind and sunshine needed for them to dry. This process is important so that further damage and destruction doesn’t occur for our lands and properties that would be sensitive to additional wakes.
Another thing that is important to keep in mind is the fact that our waters have been subject to sewage and other materials found on lands and roads due to this event. Our waters have been undergoing a lot of testing for their health and safety by Health departments and other Environmental entities. We want to ensure that when the IDNR opens the system that people are not exposed to additional bacteria’s or elements that may be unsafe through contact.
We thank you for your patience and understanding during these days and we thank you for your efforts to help us restore our waterways and the lands and properties around them. Please continue to direct all waterway concerns to our website, or the Fox Waterway Agency APP. It has and continues to be a pleasure to work with you and witness true heroism throughout our waterway by so many people who care so much. Your continued help, patience and assistance is appreciated by our office staff, field crew and the Agency Boards. Let’s keep working, stay strong and we hope to see you on the water soon!
Executive Director, FWA